The advent of UPI (universal payments interface) has triggered the growth of fintech firms in the country. And, a similar trend is possible and there is a scope for nearly 10,000 agri-tech start-ups as each village, on average, has an economic potential of Rs. 15 crore, according to Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner at the Bharat Innovation Fund.

“There is a scope for the establishment of 10,000 agri-tech start-ups by 2030, which has the potential to create 10 million jobs in rural areas,” he said.

Also Read | The rise of agri-startups: VLEs and agtech fueling entrepreneurial spirit in rural India 

Taking part in a panel discussion at Charcha ‘23 at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad on Wednesday, he said in order to encourage farmers to adopt tech-based solutions there was a need to provide incentives.

“You need to create an economic model to help start-ups scale up so that more number of farmers will benefit from the tech-based solutions. Otherwise, only a small percentage of farmers would use them,” he said.

R Kalpana Sastry, Managing Director of AgHub Foundation at the Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, said that it was time a focussed approach. “Like you have business-to-business and business-to-consumer models, you should have business-to-farmers, so that they will get tailor-made approach to their solutions,” she said.

Also Read | How agritech can accelerate a radical shift in the Indian farming landscape?

Citing the example of edtech companies that starved for funds at crucial stages of their growth, she said the ecosystem should think of a bridge investment to help the agri-tech start-ups to go to the next level.

The panel discussion was held as part of the two-day Charcha ‘23, which is a G20- Startup20 event, which focused on tech-driven livelihoods.

Organised by the Nudge Institute, the fourth edition of the Charcha conference attracted representatives from the IT, pharma, corporate social responsibility, investment, and start-up sectors.

Also Read | Unlocking the potential of agri-tech

“With India’s economic vision anchored on its youth, the need of the hour is to empower the new generation of professionals with employable skills for the future. Our approach to talent must be guided by a skills-first mindset to help connect the right people to the right opportunity,” Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager of LinkedIn, said.

A 24-hour nonstop hackathon is also being organised simultaneously.